Investment silver linings again

by | Dec 4, 2002 | Archives

Yesterday's message looked at demographic projections. There will be more than 500 million Americans in the next 40 years! This is good news in several ways, such as creating taxpayers to fund baby boomer's retirement and service America's bloated debt.Yet there are problems as well. For example one recent Reuter's article reads:World Plants Near Extinction Close to 50 Pct.-Study (Reuters) – The percentage of the world's plants threatened with extinction is much larger than commonly believed, and could be as high as 47 percent if tropical species are included, researchers said on Thursday. The study, published in the November issue of Science, challenges earlier research that estimated the number of species in danger of extinction was about 13 percent. Previous studies of extinct plants underestimated the numbers because they failed to include many plants growing in tropical countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. More…

Won't this problem grow with increased population? Plus a recent message ( shows how it is estimated that there is not a single unpolluted stream left in the US.

When we see articles such as these and multiply this by an increased population, we can draw conclusions of despair. Inspired investors however look for the opposite silver lining. How can we serve our society by investing in solutions to these problems? And solutions do exit. Take this interesting article as an example:

Students invent natural way to purify polluted water
Last Updated Fri, 15 Nov 2002 21:47:18

HALIFAX - Scallop shells can be used to clean up polluted water, three teenagers in Halifax have discovered.James Beaton-Johnson, Elias Fares and Amy Trottier began their award-winning research as Grade 12 students. They say the shells can be used to clean up contaminated rivers, lakes and even Halifax Harbour.Elias Fares, James Beaton-Johnson and Amy Trottier claimed second prize in the Aventis Biotech Challenge Courtesy: BioNovaThe trio got the idea from a documentary about a Japanese fish farmer who tossed oyster shells into a pond and found it cleared the dirty water.The students at J.L. Ilsley high school began experimenting with scallop shells immersed in dirty dish water. The water cleared in 24 hours.The students then used their inexpensive, user-friendly method to improve the water quality on the MacIntosh Run, a river flowing through their school property.They discovered the shells' shape and chemical makeup neutralizes pH and also helps filter out coliform bacteria, sediment and heavy metals.Researchers at the National Research Council's Institute for Marine Biosciences say they don't know of anyone else doing similar research. The project has already won prizes at three science fairs.Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly was so impressed with the students' research that he offered them summer jobs testing their method on the municipal water system. Their method successfully cleaned the water.Next week, they'll present their project at the World Youth Parliament for Water in Quebec City. The conference brings together 100 teens from 30 countries to reflect on water management.The students have applied to patent their water-cleaning method, and they are writing up their findings for a scientific journal. All three plan tostudy science at university.

Every time you see, read or hear some information that fills you with despair, ask yourself, “Where is the opportunity in this?” Now only will this thinking make you feel better, but it will put you well on the road to inspired investing!

Until next message, may all you investing be inspired.